Some disorganized thoughts about tonights fights and what they mean, if anything…
Rob Brant’s emphatic destruction of Delray Raines means that we’re unlikely to see Brant fight in his home state of Minnesota for a while. As Brant observed in his post-fight interview, nine of his first twenty professional fights have taken place at Grand Casino Hinckley. But his next bout is already listed for May 21st in Las Vegas, and provided he wins that one, he’s probably off to bigger and better things. If/when he does fight in Minnesota again, it’ll probably be in the distant future and at a larger venue in the Twin Cities.
Speaking of Brant/Raines, a person in the know was heard to say that the reason Raines was unable to continue after his first-round knockdown was a dislocated rib. This writer has never experienced a dislocated rib (let’s keep it that way) but it is said to be one of the most painful conditions in human experience. Hopefully a video playback of that short fight will become available soon, but until then, I have to say that I didn’t see Brant land a body punch against Raines, and to his credit Brant acknowledged that he didn’t remember throwing one. So the rib injury must have been suffered in the event of the collapse following a head punch, not as the direct result of a punch.
The Fistic Mystic does not like to criticize our local boxing officials or the indispensable work that they do, but once in a while they do err, and the Amouta-Carter fight is one of those instances. Two of the three judges scored that bout for Amouta, and though he fought admirably against the odds, so did Hiroo Onoda. (Look him up.) It’s a shame that George Carter Jr has to take a loss in this fight, because he certainly didn’t deserve it. Hopefully a prompt rematch can be arranged.
Tonight’s six-rounder between Dennis Hogan and Angel Hernandez was brought to you by the roulette wheel. First Hernandez was scheduled as an opponent for 12-1-1 Antonio Johnson of Saint Paul, who holds the Minnesota light middleweight title. Johnson suffered an eye injury and dropped out of the fight; 18-5 Mohammed Kayongo, the man who Johnson beat for the MN title, was named as Johnson’s replacement. But that match didn’t last long, as Kayongo withdrew for undisclosed reasons. So 22-1-1 Dennis Hogan of Australia was named as the third dance partner for Hernandez. Now Hernandez might have been perceived as the hapless opponent, but he clearly didn’t see himself that way. Hernandez was an aggressive, stubborn, tough, and clever opponent for the well-regarded Australian, and he made the paper mismatch an entertaining brawl. Kudos to both fighters, but particularly to Angel Hernandez!
Markus Morris earned his win against Mike Fowler, though. Good job, Markus. It looked to me like Morris had a definite size advantage, but it wasn’t just size that won this fight for him; this victory was earned by way of aggression and tempo.
Sometimes a boxer encounters an unexpectedly tough opponent early in his career. This happened to Michael Carbajal when he debuted against future world champion (and virtual unknown) Will Grigsby back in 1989, and it happened to Cory Thompson tonight, when he stepped in the ring with Michael Thunder. Thunder is shorter than Thompson and he looks a little soft in the body. I don’t know Thunder’s amateur credentials, but Thompson was an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves champ who was thought by some to be Minnesota’s most sweet-boxing amateur a couple of years ago. Thompson is also tall, lanky, quick, skillful, and very fit. But Thunder was a tough and persistent opponent who wouldn’t lie down or go away. I hope that rather than be discouraged, Thompson will be inspired to work harder and learn more, to further his career in pugilism.
Ryan Watson looked like a man while fighting a man tonight. He took some big punches and kept coming forward. I know that BJ Lacy thought the fight was stopped prematurely, and maybe I should be more sympathetic, but it must have been clear to onlookers (as it was to me) that Lacy was overmatched and outclassed by the big-shouldered youngster from Duluth.
Last of all, let me offer congratulations to Phillip Adyaka, a tough young man who has dealt with some hard luck. Adyaka is a tiny bull of a fighter, diminutive in height and densely muscled. That means that he’s always at a disadvantage in height and reach. But Adyaka won his super featherweight bout with Dale Bennett tonight in impressive fashion.